The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Basketball program hosts Hagan Arena Virtual Sellout

A sold out Hagan Arena during the 2019-2020 season. PHOTO: MITCHELL SHIELDS ’22/THE HAWK

Due to fans being barred from Hagan Arena for the start of the basketball season, the St. Joe’s men’s and women’s basketball teams will host a virtual sellout for members of the St. Joe’s community to support the teams. 

The Hagan Arena Virtual Sellout allows fans a chance to purchase a “seat” with the intent of each purchase being a gift for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

Seat prices range from $50 for a single seat, $1,000 for a row and up to $5,000 to fill a whole section. For those who donate, there are potential incentives involved as well. A gift of $200 or more earns a thank you video from both men’s Head Coach Billy Lange and women’s Head Coach Cindy Griffin, a gift of $1,000 or more earns a Zoom meeting with both coaches and a gift of $5,000 or more earns a Zoom call to watch a St. Joe’s basketball game with Director of athletics, Jill Bodensteiner, J.D.

According to Associate Director of Athletic Development Liz Barone, who runs the virtual sellout, these donations will help generate revenue for the basketball program during this unusual year.

“When you look at the sources of revenue for the athletic department, fundraising and ticket revenue are separate,” Barone said. “But we’re all working together to generate as much revenue for the athletic department in an abnormal year as we can.”

Barone said that with this virtual sellout initiative, the athletics department has a specific number they want to reach and plans on using the donations to help the program continue to function at a high level.

“The monetary goal is $192,500,” Barone said. “It goes to the men’s and women’s basketball operating fund, maintaining the student-athlete experience.”

Currently the initiative, which was announced on Oct. 15,  has seen over 100 donors and has raised more than 15% of the total goal which the athletic department hopes to meet before the program’s conclusion at the end of December, according to the campaign’s website. 

According to Barone, the initial idea for the initiative came following a number of other universities’ athletics departments successful virtual sellouts within their schools’ communities.

“Some schools decided to do virtual sellouts to close out their spring seasons,” Barone said. “We decided we wanted to try it in a more traditional sense, around basketball season.”

While the virtual sellout had a strong start, according to Emily Mandarano ’23, co-vice president of 54th Airborne, the St. Joe’s student fan section, Mandarano said she would definitely like to see more initiatives focused on student fans.

“I think it’s more aimed toward alumni because I don’t necessarily think college kids will want to pay that,” Mandarano said. “But it’s a good idea to keep bringing in money while we can’t have people in [Hagan Arena].”

54th Airborne President Jay Wilmer ’22 said that he hopes to see more initiatives from the athletics department that engage students with the team, in spite of fans not being allowed in Hagan Arena for the upcoming season.

“[The Virtual Sellout] is tough for students to support because buying out seats can get expensive for people who need to pay for their books, tuition, rent,” Wilmer said. “But it’s still something and I hope [the athletic department] can make some money off of it and keep everything running.”

According to Barone, in conjunction with the Be in that Number campaign, which consist of five crowdfunding projects for the university, this virtual sellout is one the athletic department has taken the lead on.

“There is one for Kinney, one for the SJU mural arts project and one for the student in need fund,” Barone said. “We’re just one piece of this bigger puzzle that’s happening at St. Joe’s.”

Barone said that while the virtual sellout is meant to drive revenue for the basketball team, she hopes it will also drive passion among fans who are missing Hagan Arena this year.

“Beyond raising money, the point of the fundraiser is to show our basketball teams that [fans are] there in spirit and supporting the team,” Barone said. 

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Hawk News

Your donation will support the student journalists of St. Joseph's University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Hawk News

Comments (0)

All The Hawk News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *